I was drilling a hole upward behind my vertical drywall to get to the floor above me and I hit some metal (endoscope video of the hole here: https://streamable.com/3be9hz). What is the metal that I hit, and did I do any major damage to it?

On the other side of this vertical wall is the front of my house, which is a layer of bricks (you can see the brick at the end of the video). Also, I think I partially drilled into a stud at the end of the hole, so it could be a metal plate connected to that. Not sure.

  • It could be a metal protection plate doing its job, but the location seems to be more like a joist hanger/or similar. Knowing enough to stop and ask is good, but without knowing the plumbing/electrical of the home, it will be a guess.
    – crip659
    Commented Mar 4 at 20:36
  • Okay, hopefully it's just a joist hanger. Was any serious damage done to it, or can I just let it be?
    – Joe
    Commented Mar 4 at 20:59
  • 1
    A joist hanger or a plate should be okay. I would be worried if it is a protection and you drilled though it, but you stopped before.
    – crip659
    Commented Mar 4 at 21:12
  • It looks like air duct
    – Traveler
    Commented Mar 5 at 1:38
  • 1
    Observe the aluminum tape, it is normally used on air ducts or exhausts
    – Traveler
    Commented Mar 5 at 1:45

1 Answer 1


I didn't watch the video... But generally speaking there are 2 types of pieces of flat metal one can find in a well constructed home.

  1. joist hangers.

    • These are located at the top of walls and keep you joists up. They wouldn't be significantly damaged by accidently hitting one with a drill. There isn't a problem with putting an extra hole in one of these as far as I know... But unless you know for sure what it is
  2. Protector plates.

  • These are steel plates that are placed to protect wires/pipes from future home remodulation. They exist solely to be hit by drills, to prevent the wires/pipes behind them from being destroyed... Not really damaged by drills, but don't drill further.


If you hit a piece of metal you weren't expecting when drilling thru drywall. or somewhere else in a house. STOP the piece of metal means don't drill here.

  • 1
    could be a brick tie Commented Mar 4 at 21:54
  • 1
    You missed "air duct" if the HVAC is ducted air.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Mar 5 at 14:24

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